Housing Quality and Health

State of Healthy Housing
This biennial report issued by NCHH assesses the health of housing using 20 key factors from the 54 communities sampled by the American Housing Survey (AHS). Local communities could create their own assessment of housing quality using similar housing quality characteristics, such as interior and exterior leaks, signs of pests, and other factors collected by local public health and code enforcement agencies. [url; NCHH, 2013]

Housing Code Violation Density Associated with Emergency Department and Hospital Use by Children with Asthma
Local agencies that enforce housing policies can partner with the healthcare system to target pediatric asthma care. Code enforcement agencies have data that can help pinpoint potential clusters of high asthma morbidity. This study assesses whether the density of housing code violations in census tracts and relevant violations (such as the presence of mold or cockroaches) was associated with population-level asthma morbidity. The study found that increased density in housing code violations was associated with population-level morbidity independent of poverty. [url; ResearchGate, 2014]

San Francisco Children Living in Redeveloped Public Housing Used Acute Services Less than Children in Older Public Housing
Poor housing quality is a predictor of poor health and developmental problems in low-income children. This report examined the association between public housing and recurring pediatric emergency and urgent care hospital visits. It was found that children living in nonredeveloped public housing were more likely to have one or more repeat visits within one year for acute healthcare services, compared to children who lived in redeveloped HOPE VI housing. No differences in repeat visits was found between children in redeveloped HOPE VI housing and in nonpublic housing. [url; ResearchGate, 2014]

Best Practices for Effecting the Rehabilitation of Affordable Housing
Rehabilitating and maintaining our aging housing stock is one key mechanism to help meet the nation’s affordable housing needs; however, renovating affordable housing is fraught with institutional and regulatory barriers. The existing stock varies greatly in condition and age, making the rehab process far less predictable and, often, more challenging than new construction. This report from HUD examines potential solutions to some of the major barriers encountered with urban rehab projects and offers a set of practices that have successfully overcome challenges throughout every stage of the rehabilitation. [pdf; HUD, 2006]

Improving Health of Housing in South King County, Washington
This paper, prepared for the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle King-County (HDC), examines policies to improve health and housing quality in South King County, WA. The authors conducted a national literature review to determine best practices to address unhealthy housing and interviewed key officials and stakeholders from cities in South King County to understand local programs and their effectiveness better. Based on their findings, the authors developed a set of best practices which they recommended be implemented in South King County to improve housing conditions and related health outcomes. [pdf; Housing Consortium, 2015]

CDC Lead Poisoning and Healthy Homes Publications
The CDC site provides access to data and surveillance reports, as well as a range of CDC-sponsored research publications related to lead hazards and healthy homes. [url; CDC]

HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH)
The OLHCHH site focuses specifically on interventions and programs to improve the quality of housing, especially for vulnerable populations. Available resources include access to healthy homes videos, upcoming events, and key technical studies. [url; OHLCHH]